Monthly Business Brief, May 2023


Cyclone Mocha hit three distinct states and regions of Myanmar, Rakhine State, Chin State and Magway Region on 14th May, 2023 and destroyed home and infrastructure of local communities living there. Aftermath, it has also major impact on commodity prices such as the price of basic commodities has been very high. On top of it, there is soaring prices and being double prices in basic shelter materials such as tarpaulins, GI sheets, and iron nails. Not only being higher in commodity price but also the running out of the commodity including medicines at the current situation.

Banking and Finance Sector

Market Foreign Exchange rate has increased from MMK 1890 to MMK 1950 in official Market Exchange counter at the end of May 2023 due to the speculation. The rumor has it that the reference exchange rate will also have been increased to market rate by Central Bank of Myanmar. However, the Central Bank of Myanmar announced on 26th May that it would not change the reference exchange rate and promotes Foreign exchange currencies instead and support USD liquidity and MMK liquidity. Besides, the CBM stated that actions will be taken if the AD licensed private banks participate in speculation.

Myanmar has gained the remarkably raising Inflation rate throughout history. Myanmar Annual Rate of Inflation or (CPI) Inflation rate has climbed up to 18.25 % in the first quarter of FY 2022-23, and Year-on Inflation rate is 18.46%. Annual Rate of inflation is 27.98 % and average Inflation for Q2 (Jul-Sep 2022) was 28.14 %. Compared to the FY 2021-2022, it has gained 7 % increase of CPI and 4 % increase in annual rate of inflation.

Regulations on overseas remittance – Foreign Exchange Authorized Dealers Bank (AD) banks in Myanmar will scrutinize the companies whether they pay the personal and corporate income taxes to the government and allow the businesses to transfer above USD 10,000 remittances after checking tax bills.

According to the Myanmar Annual Tax Compliance Remainder for FY 2022-23, all taxpayers – including companies, organizations, or individuals – must file their annual tax returns especially Corporate Income Tax, Commercial Tax and Annual Salary Statement to their respective tax offices through in-person or applying through before the end of June, 2023.

Trading Sector

An MSME Fair 2023 was held on 7th May, 2023 in Lotte Hotel, Yangon and mainly conducted by UMFCCI (Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry) in order to promote the development of MSME sector within Myanmar. There are over 120 product shows displayed including Myanmar Traditional Costume Fashion Show.

Myanmar is the largest trade partner of Yunnan Province as well as the largest import source and export market. China and Myanmar has been closest business partners’ countries throughout ages. China-Lancang Trade Fair between the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization under the Ministry of Commerce, and the Lancang People’s Government in Yunnan Province, the People’s Republic of China, was conducted from 25th to 28th May in NayPyiTaw. A total of 65 businesspersons, organizations and companies from Myanmar and 70 businesspersons from China have participated on the trade fair. As a part of the program, Myanmar-China economic and trade cooperation discussion and the signing ceremony was took place on 26th May 2023 at the Plenary Hall of the Myanmar International Convention Center II (MICC- II). About 17 companies from both countries signed nine agreements on cooperation and trade in areas such as agricultural products, foodstuffs, soft drinks and beverages, pharmaceutical products, household electronics, and electric vehicles.

Foreign Direct Investment Sector

India-based Adani Business Group has sold Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) Ltd, the largest port group developer of India, implemented in Yangon, to Solar Energy Companies with USD 30 Million. The business group has totally invested USD 195 million in Myanmar. In May 2022, the APSEZ had announced the signing of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the sale of its Myanmar Port. According to the Statement, the buyer will pay the said amount to the seller within three business days on completing all the necessary compliance by the seller. On receipt of the total transaction value, the APSEZ shall transfer the equity to the buyer and its exit will stand concluded.

According to a local newspaper, Myanmar Economic Holding Limited sued the HSL Group Joint Venture Company for USD 21 million and the defendant will confront witnesses in order to dispute their testimony and questions in coming June 2026.

Manufacturing Sector

By 2022-23 GDP by composition, the manufacturing sector is the second largest portion with (34%)and largely contributed toward national economy. Myanmar manufacturing sector is mainly comprised of the garment and textiles produced on the CMP (Cutting, Making and Packing). Throughout nationwide, about 541 factories are operated under the Myanmar Garment Association and mostly from China, and followed by Myanmar, the Republic of Korea. In April 2023, the manufacturing sector almost hit USD 3.7 Million investment which is mainly from a Chinese enterprise with USD 2 Million USD.

Although there was a terrible electricity shortage in hot season of this year,  Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), Myanmar Manufacturing Index has bumped up to 57.4 in April 2023 with the fastest pace since the series began in 2016 and grew the most on record  due to increasing orders and production growth in last 18 months. 

Transportation Sector

The opening ceremony of Sittwe-Kaladan Jetty International Port under the Indian-funded Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project was held in Sittway Township of Rakhine State on 9th May 2023. It has major achievement for transportation sector through 2022-23 because of its mutual benefits to India and Rakhine and China States in Myanmar. Besides, as it is a multimodal transport system by linking the sea route, inland waterways and road, it has major impact such as the flow of the transport and goods between Rakhine State and also promotes the socio-economic status of residents living alongside the Port


There are eight cases of Covid-19 Omicron XBB.1.16 sub variant in Sittwe, Myanmar. The Ministry of Health has also warned that the XBB.1.16 is more infectious than previous one. As of May 27,2023, there are 638,491 Coronavirus cases in Myanmar and total 617,455 have been recovered from infection out of 10 Million specimen test. In order to continuously control the infection of COVID-19, the rules and restrictions have been extended until the end of June 2023 by the Ministry of Health.

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